United Voices of Vanderbilt Choir

United Voices of Vanderbilt Choir
January 25, 2021

Total Membership: 55

ERG Name
United Voices of Vanderbilt
Founded: November 2017

Ronnie Yates, Director | Stephanie Holt, Assistant Director
James Barnett, Gregory Crutchfield, Regina Hockett, Kris Ellis, Shae Etter, Joey Qualls

In memory of Ronnie Yates, founding UVOV Choir Director, we would like to share this video honoring his life:

https://www.vumc.org/elevate/aug ust-2021-leadership-assembly

Redcap Membership Survey Link:




The United Voices of Vanderbilt mission is to make Diversity and Inclusion intentional through music throughout the Vanderbilt Medical Center Community to bring joy and happiness.

 Meeting Schedule: Monthly (Weekly and twice-weekly practices prior to major events).


Top Accomplishment

The formation of the choir attracted a diverse interest group of approximately 200 employees representing faculty and staff at all levels.  UVOV held its inaugural performance at the December 2017 Monroe Carroll Jr. Children’s Hospital Holiday event where the group provided holiday carols for patients and staff.  The choir has since evolved into a highly regarded and go to performance group for VUMC leaders and others seeking music for internal and external events. Since COVID, the Choir has utilized virtual tools to continue their mission to bring joy and happiness through music to the VUMC community.

Success Across Focus Areas

Career: Supporting professional and leadership development

Culture: Strengthening relationships, building trust & belonging environment

Strengthening Internal Community and Culture

  • (3) MLK Morning Program
  • (3) Veterans Day Program
  • (2) Memorial Day Service
  • (2) Hidden Figures Program
  • (1) Employee Celebrate 2018
  • (2) MLK Day Events (Office for Diversity and Psych Hospital)
  • (1) The National Anthem – Vanderbilt Baseball Game
  • (2) Summer Concert
  • (1) VUMC Leadership Assembly
  • (1) Black History Month Presentation at VPH with Shan Foster
  • (1) Virtual recording of Lean on Me for Internal Circulation

Community: Impacting our communities through service

Strengthening External Community Relationships - Patients and Families

  • (4) Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital Holiday Program
  • (1) Holiday Caroling throughout Medical Center
  • (1) Transplant Memorial Program

Strengthening External Partnerships

  • (1) Cheekwood-Canby Robinson Society
  • (1) 10th Annual Donate Life Flag Raising Ceremony
  • (1) Respiratory Therapy Conference

Strengthening Region and Community

  • (1) The Chinese New Year @ Lipscomb University

Caring: Collaborating to support achievement of business goals

The Choir leadership provides information to VUMC employees about the United Voices of Vanderbilt Choir during the New Hire Orientation and also extends an open invitation for staff to join at all engagements.


Member Testimonials

For me, the choir is a means to providing joy.  I think about our performances and how the attendees respond, and it is obvious that they are joyful; that in turn fills me with joy. I also agree with your comments about the fellowship and bonding of the choir members, and our AMAZING harmony!


Diane S. Garrett, CPM
Sr. Sourcing Officer - Capital
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Supply Chain Services

I love singing and music is a wonderful release for me. UVOV is an opportunity right on campus to join with others at the end of a busy day. There are some truly amazing voices I would be happy to just sit and listen to, but everyone is made to feel really welcome regardless of experience or ability. And there is a real sense of community. UVOV includes people from all over the medical with different roles in all we do, and I've met wonderful people I would not otherwise have spent time with. It's a really terrific group of people.

Dr. Ann Kavanaugh-Mchugh
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Pediatric Cardiology

Participating in the choir has introduced me to staff members I may never have met. I feel blessed to be able to come together with people from all across Vanderbilt and observe all ascribed hierarchy, title, and degree be washed away. In that room, for that hour or so, we are all the same and share the same purpose – to come together as vocalists to create the best sound we can. This experience has enriched my life, helped me to develop richer friendships, and allowed me to express myself.

James Barnett, PhD, RN
Patient Care Manager
Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Center

What Ronnie and Stephanie have created in this group may be one-of-a-kind not only within Academic Medical Centers, but within the entire Healthcare Industry. The joy and peace that it brings to a never-ending swirl of change and stressful situations should be celebrated.

Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

Joey Qualls, BS, WEd
Sr. Learning Consultant
VUMC Human Resources

Singing with the choir is like a cool wind blowing on the back of your neck!! It is like laying on the beach hiding behind your shades, checking your eye lids for holes as you sip on a nice, cold, glass of a beverage that makes you bring out your alter ego!! You are thanking God for the . . . RELAXATION, the money for the vacation and the time available to be off work. So, in other words, the choir is a blessing to me!! In spite of the long days, countless hours of doing additional work and finding time to get a lunch break in . . . WHEN I WOULD HIT THE MAIN CAMPUS, SEE LIGHT HALL IN MY VIEW, GO THROUGH THOSE GLASS DOORS AND SEE THE BACK OF THEIR HEADS . . . I WOULD EXHALE . . . ITS EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING!!!!  I LOVE THE UNITED VOICES OF VANDERBILT TO PIECES!!!

Shae’ Etter, BS
Physician Billing Coordinator
Center for Women’s Health at 100 Oaks

I am truly thankful for each member of The United Voices of Vanderbilt Choir. They bring love, fun, laughter, intelligence, creativity, joy, a diverse wealth of musical knowledge & just plain knowledge itself along with their individual style to the choir. I also give Kudos and a heartfelt “Thank You” to our Amazing Director and my Friend Ronnie Yates for asking me to be the Assistant Director of this Phenomenal group of Co-workers and Friends. His Incredible gift(s), humility & leadership have brought a SPIRIT OF EXCELLENCE to our choir!! Ronnie & I could not do anything without each of these Awesome individuals who willingly and enthusiastically give their time & are committed to the OVERALL SUCCESS of The United Voices of Vanderbilt Choir!  It has been and is a pleasure & a privilege to serve with them . . . and to serve them.

Stephanie L. Holt
Financial Clearance Specialist
Vanderbilt Central Registration
VUMC Dept of Finance

I am truly Amazed, Overjoyed, and very Humbled by The United Voices of Vanderbilt choir members. It makes me so happy when I see their wonderful faces. They make me smile, laugh, act silly, and they laugh at my dry crazy jokes. They are like my awesome family. I have brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and lots of cousins…lol. Before Covid19 I looked forward to seeing them at every rehearsal and our events. They take my stress away, help me, encourage me, pray for me, and make me feel so loved. I love every single one of them.

Since being diagnosed with Stage 4 Bile Duct Cancer and taking Chemotherapy I have received tons of love from hundreds of people outside of and within my Vanderbilt Family!! The choir members have sent food, given monetary gifts, beautiful cards, made phone calls to me and continue to send their prayers. Even though this is one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through. I know for sure that with all this love & God’s help I will be OK!! I am honored to be the Director of this Great group of people!!

Ronnie D. Yates, Sr.
Access Specialist
VUMC Patient Access Center